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Quantumplation
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July 22, 2010, 01:16:42 AM
 #1

I was considering starting something like a "real time lotto", but wanted to probe the community first.

How would everyone here feel about a lotto that works as following:

I, or some third party, would choose a random number and keep it a secret, and put several bitcoins into the pot to get things going.
People begin to guess numbers at 1btc each guess.  Each bitcoin goes into the pot.
This continues until someone guesses the number, at which point 3 things happen:
80% (or some other number, it's up to how people react) of the pot goes to the winner.
1% goes to me (very modest, I should say)
19% stays in the pot to get it started for the next one, and a random number is chosen again.

This could be automated, as a (potentially) very fast paced lottery.

So: 
What numbers should I use above, or are the values I've chosen reasonable?
Would you prefer the "already guessed" numbers be shown?  Hidden?  Shown after they've been guessed multiple times?
Any other ideas/suggestions?

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July 22, 2010, 01:42:51 AM
 #2

I think it would be better if you found a source of random digits that isn't controlled by one or us. Maybe the last digits of some absurdly precise meteorological data that is published frequently.

It's not that I don't trust someone for a few coins, but it'd be nice to have a system that scales and new people and unlucky people know can't be rigged.

Play Bitcoin Poker at sealswithclubs.eu. We're active and open to everyone.
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July 22, 2010, 01:59:32 AM
 #3

How would I do this though?  The whole idea is that instead of a bunch of people guessing, then the numbers picked, a bunch of people pick and the first one to guess the number wins.  Otherwise it becomes a regular lottery, and the point is to be a bit different, so as not to tread on the other lottery's feet. Smiley

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July 22, 2010, 07:13:24 AM
 #4

I would do the drawing as follows:
  • Go to random.org and generate the random number(s) between 0 and n based on a "persistent identifier". A good identifier to use would be a newly generated bitcoin address that has not been used yet.
  • Post the SHA-256 hash of the identifier on the forum to commit to the number(s)
  • Publish the guesses. This way, people can see if all guesses have been exhausted. This prevents me from claiming no-one won.
  • Announce the winner and publish the identifier used to generate the number(s), so everyone can verify the winning number(s).

1NvcPV6xi6yqo5yg8aWSkNdasPSAsGtt1m
melvster
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July 22, 2010, 08:48:28 AM
 #5

I was considering starting something like a "real time lotto", but wanted to probe the community first.

How would everyone here feel about a lotto that works as following:

I, or some third party, would choose a random number and keep it a secret, and put several bitcoins into the pot to get things going.
People begin to guess numbers at 1btc each guess.  Each bitcoin goes into the pot.
This continues until someone guesses the number, at which point 3 things happen:
80% (or some other number, it's up to how people react) of the pot goes to the winner.
1% goes to me (very modest, I should say)
19% stays in the pot to get it started for the next one, and a random number is chosen again.

This could be automated, as a (potentially) very fast paced lottery.

So:  
What numbers should I use above, or are the values I've chosen reasonable?
Would you prefer the "already guessed" numbers be shown?  Hidden?  Shown after they've been guessed multiple times?
Any other ideas/suggestions?

What about the following:

Have a lottery for N people (this can be varied from 2 to 100 -- maybe start with 2 for fun)

Each enters 1 BTC and chooses one of the remaining numbers from 1 to N.

Once N people are hit, take a timestamp.  Then run that timestamp as a seed in a random number generator.

This picks the winner.

I'd suggest to start with all funds returned to participants at parity because:

1. legal in most US states
2. fun to get things going ...

Later on you can add a rake, bonus system, jackpot etc, like poker sites do.
Quantumplation
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July 22, 2010, 01:19:13 PM
 #6

I would do the drawing as follows:
  • Go to random.org and generate the random number(s) between 0 and n based on a "persistent identifier". A good identifier to use would be a newly generated bitcoin address that has not been used yet.
  • Post the SHA-256 hash of the identifier on the forum to commit to the number(s)
  • Publish the guesses. This way, people can see if all guesses have been exhausted. This prevents me from claiming no-one won.
  • Announce the winner and publish the identifier used to generate the number(s), so everyone can verify the winning number(s).

This is a very good solution.  I was looking around on random.org, but I hadn't thought it all the way through.  Would you be interested in buying into a lottery like this?  It's interesting, because it doesn't reward buying a bunch of guesses at once (each one gives diminishing returns, because you're putting more money into the pot) and the longer it goes on (maybe capped to a week, and whoever's closest after a week wins) the more profitable it would be, because there'd be less choices, thus more chances for winning.  It's almost like a Bingo lottery. =P

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melvster
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July 22, 2010, 01:53:50 PM
 #7

I would do the drawing as follows:
  • Go to random.org and generate the random number(s) between 0 and n based on a "persistent identifier". A good identifier to use would be a newly generated bitcoin address that has not been used yet.
  • Post the SHA-256 hash of the identifier on the forum to commit to the number(s)
  • Publish the guesses. This way, people can see if all guesses have been exhausted. This prevents me from claiming no-one won.
  • Announce the winner and publish the identifier used to generate the number(s), so everyone can verify the winning number(s).

This is a very good solution.  I was looking around on random.org, but I hadn't thought it all the way through.  Would you be interested in buying into a lottery like this?  It's interesting, because it doesn't reward buying a bunch of guesses at once (each one gives diminishing returns, because you're putting more money into the pot) and the longer it goes on (maybe capped to a week, and whoever's closest after a week wins) the more profitable it would be, because there'd be less choices, thus more chances for winning.  It's almost like a Bingo lottery. =P

Looks very cool!

Maybe we can test out the coin flip?
Quantumplation
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July 22, 2010, 02:06:52 PM
 #8

Well, I'm running a "fake" one right now.  http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=534.0

Also, the chance of them brute forcing a 64 digit alphanumeric seed which I hashed with SHA-256 is very low. Wink

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Quantumplation
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July 22, 2010, 02:31:08 PM
 #9

*shrug* I can hash it a second time, but it's not going to increase or decrease security.  I typed out a random alphanumeric seed anywhere between 1 and 64 characters long, so they'd have to bruteforce an ungodly number of options.  Hashing it a second time won't change that.

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